Honda Dream Machines at LeMay: A Collector’s Obsession

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaster Collector
Each year a special display at LeMay – America’s Car Museum in Tacoma, Washington, features the vehicles of one Master Collector — a dedicated individual who exemplifies passion for the collector hobby by finding, restoring and sharing vehicles that dreams (and memories) are made of. The 2019 Master Collector display honors Brown M. Maloney, who collects both cars and motorcycles. Maloney owns significant cars by Ferrari, Ford and Mercedes-Benz (among others), but this motorcycle display of Honda dream machines at LeMay – America’s Car Museum features a truly world-class collection pristine machinery.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceHonda Motorcycle Obsession
Over the last 30 years, Maloney has amassed one of the finest collections of Honda motorcycles in the world, and more than 125 examples from his treasure trove have been on display during 2019 at Lemay – America’s Car Museum. According to Maloney, he acquired the majority of his collection before the Internet — in the ‘80s and ‘90s when obsessed collectors had to network, subscribe to magazines and do some real sleuthing to uncover rare, desirable models.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceOriginality and Condition
The Honda motorcycles in Maloney’s collection range primarily from 1959 to the mid-1970s, as well as a few later models that have become rare or particularly significant. Maloney says that when searching for additions to his collection, the focus remains on originality and condition. At the time that he acquired many of the motorcycles, they were about 25 years old and many of them were emerging from garages for the first time in many years.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceHonda’s Nicest People
In 1963 Honda created a catchy advertising campaign for the American market: “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” As a person coming of age during the tumultuous ‘60s, Maloney explains the inspiration behind his collection as simply the friendly nature of Honda motorcycles. “A lot of people born in the mid-to-late ‘50s and even earlier, grew up on Hondas in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” notes Maloney. “For many people it was their first experience with something with a motor, that they could feel a sense of freedom. Hondas were pretty reliable, pretty easy to operate and you essentially never saw anyone who went for a little ride on a Honda that didn’t come back with a smile on their face,” Maloney recalls.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceEarly Honda History
Soichiro Honda got his start in Japan after World War II when he sold his piston ring business and started adapting surplus two-stroke engines originally intended for generators to bicycles. Honda Motor Co. Ltd. incorporated in 1948 and produced its first real motorcycle in 1949, powered by a 98cc two-stroke engine. The bike was known as the “Dream” — although officially called the Model D. Mr. Honda did not like the noise, smell and fumes from two-stroke motorcycles, so the company built its first four-stoke motorcycle in 1951 — the Dream E. Honda continued to build two-stroke engines as well, and in 1952 the 50cc Cub F motor sold as an auxiliary motor for bicycles.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceBenly
In 1953 Honda produced the Benly J motorbike, powered by a 90cc four-stroke engine with Benly badges on the tank and the Honda name on the engine. The Benly series was produced into the mid-1960s.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceHonda Super Cub
One of the most prominently displayed Honda dream machines at LeMay, the 1958 Honda Super Cub launched with a pressed steel frame, leading-link fork, step-through design and a 50cc four-stroke engine. The Super Cub was later produced with 70cc and 90cc engines, and eventually became the most popular motorcycle of all time.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceAmerican Honda Motor Company
Honda’s American subsidiary — American Honda Motor Co. — launched during 1959 in Los Angeles, California, selling the Dream, Benly and Honda 50 (Super Cub). Total sales in 1960 were less than 2,000 units, but over the next five years more than 500 dealers were established, beginning on the West Coast. After the launch of the “You meet the nicest people on a Honda” campaign, Honda sold 100,000 motorcycles in the U.S. in 1963 — more than all other manufacturers combined. Today Honda is the leading motorcycle manufacturer in the U.S. with 22 percent of the market.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1952 Honda Cub-F Motor with Original Bicycle

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1962 Honda C115 Sport Cub 55

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1965 Honda S-90 Super 90

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
Perhaps the most intriguing display of Honda dream machines at LeMay: two 1967 Honda CM-91 Step-Thru 90s in their original shipping crate.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1967 Honda CL-90 Scrambler

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1969 Honda CB-125 Super Sport

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1969 Honda CL-125 Scrambler

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1962 CB-92 125cc Sport Bike

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1959 CA-92 125 Benly

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1967 Honda CB-160

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1965 Honda CA-95 150 Dream

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1969 Honda CL-175 Scrambler

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1968 Honda CL-72 250 Scrambler

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1965 Honda CB-77 305 Super Hawk

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1963 Honda CSA-77 Dream Sport

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1968 Honda CL-77 305 Scrambler

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1973 Honda SL-350 Motosport

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1972 Honda SL-175 Motosport

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1973 Honda SL-125 Motosport

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1969 Honda CT-90 Trail 90

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
Honda Z-50s

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1974 Honda XL-70

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1973 Honda CR-250 Elsinore and 1974 Honda CR-125 Elsinore

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1981 Honda CR-450 Elsinore and 1979 Honda CR-250 Elsinore

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1962 Honda CR-93 Twin-Cam Race Bike

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
Honda CT-70 Trail 70s

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1970 Honda CL-100 Scrambler

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1973 Honda CL-350

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1968 Honda CB-450

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1969 Honda CB-450

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1969 Honda GB-500 Tourist Trophy

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1978 Honda CX-500 V-Twin

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1983 Honda GL-650 Silver Wing

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1973 Honda CB-350 Four

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1969 Honda CB-750 Four

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1979 Honda CBX Six Cylinder

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1976 Honda GL-1000 Gold Wing

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1982 Honda CX-500 Turbo

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1983 Honda CX-650 Turbo

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1976 Rickman Honda CB-750

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1990 Honda VFR-750R RC-30

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceMaloney Honda Collection at LeMay
1978 PA-50 Honda Hobbit

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